Tuesday, June 26

Gotta Love a Working Dog...

Schatzie loves to work...
here she is taking the mail back to the house.

by the way the package was for her and Gracie!! 
 Such a Smart Dog!

Monday, June 25

Summer half over....

They harvested the wheat crop south of our place 10 days ago.  I remember a farmer once telling me that farmers(in these parts) felt that the summer was half over once the wheat crop was out....hmmmm, the 16th of June and the summer is half over! Didn't summer just begin on June 20th??

Another "Farmer Date" is July 4th in which if your corn is knee high by the 4th of July
 it's going to be GOOD!!
 So what's it going to be like if it's above my head (I'm 5.7) on the 25th of June???

Tasseling already....ears will be setting on soon.

Look, I'm outstanding in my field......

Lastly, my bluebirds have been busy...we're waiting for the hatching of the second brood,
 it should be any day!!
Someone must have forgotten to tell Mrs. Bluebird she suppose to have less eggs on the 2nd brood of the season...yes, you see 6 eggs, must be those yummy meal worms.

a trip to the zoo....

We had intended to go to the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, but with temps in the upper 90's and high humidity we opted for the Lincoln Children's Zoo. Haven't been here in years and it has changed for the better :) This zoo is located across the street from the Sunken Gardens (see previous post) 
so...you can hit both in a day. 

Saturday, June 23

Never promised you a rose garden...

My mom arrived yesterday for her summer visit, we hit the farmers market and then to Sunken Gardens near downtown Lincoln, NE.  The following photos were taken with my point and shoot camera. It was raining when we left the ranch this morning and I really hadn't planned to visit these gardens...It was one of those impulse stops.

Now for a little history on the garden...it was built in 1930 on an old 1.5 acre neighborhood landfill sight. In 2004 it underwent a major renovation in which over 100 trees and 1,000 shrubs were added as well as 18,000 square feet of annual flower space, which changes from year to year. There are 2 reflecting ponds and a cascading waterfall that runs thru the center of the garden. The Sunken Gardens is listed on the 300 Best Gardens to Visit in the US and Canada by the National Geographic Guide to America's Public Gardens. My shots don't begin to do it justice...If you are ever in the neighborhood stop by it'll be worth the effort.

Unfortunately, not only did I not have my "big girl camera" the batteries on the point & shoot died, so these are all the photos I captured today. Hope you enjoyed a quick walk thru the garden!!

Monday, June 18

So, I like to dig...

We've have been working on a landscape/foundation project at our house for the past few days. Like most of our projects there's always alot of digging, leveling, pounding, tamping, cussing, conversing going on and not necessarily in that order.  Hubby had just leveled this portion of the project and ran back to the garage for something when a four legged helper decided she was going to do a little of her own landscaping!!!

We told Gracie that her assistance was not needed at this time and she needed to find something else to work on...

So, she did........
She went over the big sand pile and well, started digging...
 Notice yellow dog on big pile of sand?!?!?
 Made herself a nice level spot...no level required!!
 What, you told me to find something to do....
 Back off Schatzie...this is MY sand pile
 Who goes there???
 Mom, put that stinkin camera away...
So there you have it....
Landscaping by GRACIE!!

For those wondering, Schatzie is doing really well, she gets her second Adequan shot tomorrow and so far we have not had to give her any extra  pain meds. The food, shot and water exercise seem to be giving her relief. WOOHOO!!

Friday, June 15

Learning to live with Canine Arthritis...

As I told you yesterday we had a veterinary appointment for Schatzie due to pain she was experiencing  in her hips. For the past 10 days if we touched her rear end she would cry out in pain and really just don't want anyone messing with her. She really didn't act a whole lot different I mean she was active, eating, pooping except for the cries when she anticipated a touch from one of us.
During her examine yesterday we were able to observe that the left leg/hip had complete range of motion, but the right did not...Dr. Julie decided to keep Schatzie over night and preform a complete blood work up (which came back fine) and she needed to take some radiographs to better diagnosis the problem. 
As you can see from this 1st radiograph, Schatzie's left hip (the one on the right) is perfect, the ball and socket look nice and healthy.  Now take a look at the other side (the one on the left) you will see severe arthritis ....degeneration of  her hip joint. In which results in cartilage damage and joint inflammation.  Now we totally understand her cries of pain.

Several things could cause this problem
1. obesity-- Schatzie is at the ideal weight
2. Lack of Exercise--not a problem for this dog, she's a go-go dog!!
3. age--Schatzie is only 5 so the disease shouldn't be this advanced
4. Injury or Trauma--we are unaware of any incident
5. Breed/Genetics--this is probably the culprit.

This next radiograph shows Schatzie's spine...a picture is worth a thousand words...a closer look at this we see that she has what they call "Spondylosis" kinda like a bone spur on the lower portion of 1st, 4th and 6th vertebra looking L to R on the x ray. I am guessing there is more further up the spine. 

Basically she's an arthritic mess...

Now there is no "cure" for arthritis we will just need to try and manage her pain and comfort levels by the following--
1. Twice a week for 1 month she will be given a Adequan injection. This med is designed to prevent further damage in the hip cartilage. After the 1 month she will be given an injection 1 time per month.
2. we will begin feeding her a diet specially for joint problems (new kibble)
3. She will also be given Previcox for pain management on days that she needs it.
4. We will continue to exercise, just being cautious not to overwork or stress her. No stairs! Dr. says swimming is the best and goodness knows Schatzie loves the pond.

She had her first injection this morning and is now resting behind the sofa...poor thing is exhausted. Her nose is a bit raw from rubbing on the kennel to get out last night, poor girl suffers from separation anxiety and being away from us last night added to her discomfort. I am glad we told them not to put a blanket in her kennel, she would have destroyed it :(
Hopefully the above plan will work. Our goal is to keep her as pain free as possible for as long as possible. 

I'm sure this will be an interesting learning experience, one I really didn't want to tackle. 
We will make the best of each and everyday--living it to the fullest with no regrets!!

Thanks to all that prayed and thought of us yesterday, it was appreciated.

Thursday, June 14

Last Tease......

 Okay, today will be the last "tease" photos before our trip to Molokai in 2 weeks. I am looking forward to seeing good friends, eating ono food, hiking the beaches and just enjoying the quiet pace of life on Molokai.
Spotted manta ray...these guys are huge and just glide thru  the water.

Not all the beaches are white sand :)

My hubby doing one of his favorite activities
The critically endangered Hawaiian Monk Seal
unfortunately at the hand of man this old boy was murdered last fall.
He was identified as RR64.  Bless his heart, he was a sweet ole soul.

Sweet ay?!?!

Look even Monk Seal have belly rolls 
 This last picture is of my Schatzie....some have asked if the girlz lived in Hawaii with us...Yes, they did! It is quite the process to get them there and no they will not be going back with us on this vacation--Gramma  is coming to dog sit!!
Schatzie is going to the vet today for some tests, I am fearing she has hip dysplasia--common in big dogs, hopefully we will be able to get her some relief from her pain. So just keep her in your thoughts around 4CDT. Thanks.

Monday, June 11

Sunrise, sunset, and a paddle board cruise...

 Sunrise....a look at Maui in the morning....
This shot was taken from the Kaunakakai Wharf. The land mass in the far distance is west Maui

A Molokai Sunset...
again taken at the Kaunakakai wharf
 A sunset paddle...
My friend Choppie...
(SUP)stand up paddle boarding---this is on my bucket list,
 hope to give it a try in a couple weeks. 

Sunday, June 10

Why Molokai....

In a couple weeks hubby and I will be returning to Molokai for a short vacation... 
In the next few days I will share a few of my favorite photos of this wonderful island. 
I think you will see why I love Molokai!!
Molokai is not for everyone
in fact there's no fancy hotels, restaurants, or even any 
great shopping...
it's just natural Hawaii and I that's the way I like it.

The above photo is my favorite beach. It's a 45 minute hike via a horrible road, but the scenery is breathtaking and so worth the effort to get there. Often times hubby, the girlz and I would be the only ones here for hours. Great for shelling, watching the sunset, observing whales 
and fun tide pools that Gracie loved!! 
Just remember to bring your headlamp cuz it's dark when you walk 
back out to the car after watching that sunset:)

Friday, June 8

And so it begins...

the harvest of 2012, we picked 2 cucumbers, 2 peppers (yes, one is PURPLE:) and a bowl full of raspberries, the cherries should be ready in a few days.

We checked all of our bird boxes today and I am happy to announce that we've got baby birds everywhere!!  Even the Blue Birds are back in action  with 1 new shiny blue egg in the box. 

Tree Swallow Nest #1  I see at least 5 babies
probably a week or so old
Tree Swallow Nest #2
difficult to see with all the feathers but I think I see 2 pink babies
probably just a day old or hatched this a.m. 

remember that comfy little nest I found a few weeks ago?
It belongs to an Eastern King Bird
These guys just hatched in the last 2 days.

The start of brood #2 for the Blue Birds. 

Barn swallow nest #1
these guys are at least 10 days old

Barn Swallow Nest #2
2 have hatched, 3 to go!
Linking to camera critters

Tuesday, June 5

Taking photos...

As I sit and compose this post I glance out my kitchen window to see the 5 little blue birds fluttering about gaining their independence from mom and pop and a deer making her nightly appearance across the road...my camera is sitting on the counter. Tonight, I decided to take those photos with my eyes and just enjoy the quiet beauty of nature that surrounds me.


I did want to share a few photos I took last Sunday...nothing spectacular...
just life here on the ranch in the middle of the country.
This photo shows our corn field, the neighbor's wheat field and the sky...
such an awesome contrast

I call it a giant dandelion puff

These just gotta make you smile...

Known around these parts as a noxious weed,
 I think the Canada thistle looks a bit like a art sculpture

This butterfly doesn't seem to care that it's a noxious weed...

the flower head against the golden wheat...

Won't be long til the wheat is ready to harvest...
 It's now dark and I have just a  few more photos to take with my eyes...
the fireflies are glowing and Mr.Moon should be rising soon, so I bid you all a good night!